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Westpac closes 58 branches in digital push

by Staff reporter4 minute read
Westpac

The major lender has revealed that the first mortgages have been originated on its new banking and wealth platform as digital channels become a priority.

In its full-year results, announced on 6 November, Westpac noted that it has managed to save $262 million in FY17 by reducing paper statements, adopting cloud-based technology and closing branches.

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The bank explained that the “consolidation of head office locations and a net reduction of 58 branches across the group” was a contributing factor in driving efficiencies.

A digital focus is now a key priority for Westpac. Its major bank peers are on a similar journey of technology-enabled transformation. ANZ is looking to streamline its model, shedding wealth businesses and overseas interests, while NAB last week confirmed that 6,000 jobs will go over the next three years.

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In addition to closing branches, Westpac said that it has been “moving certain tech activities to cloud-based infrastructure” and developing its Panorama platform, a wealth management tool for customer and advisers.

Over the last 12 months, the bank has commenced development of its customer service hub, with a focus on home lending.

“The first stage of this program has now been completed and the first mortgages have been originated on the platform,” the bank said in a trading update.

The Panorama platform integrates wealth management with the group’s traditional banking systems. It is also capable of incorporating more complex account types, such as SMSFs.

Westpac has almost doubled the number of SMSF funds on Panorama from 2,173 to 4,305 (up by 98 per cent) over the year to 30 September.

westpac building

James Mitchell

James Mitchell

AUTHOR

James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.

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